Best Manhattan Beach Homes
Sand Section
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Beach Lifestyle

The Sand Section runs the length of Manhattan Beach along the coast, from El Segundo in the North to Hermosa Beach in the South. It is characterized by small lots and higher prices. Many homes have an ocean view, some have just an ocean "peek." This area has most of the multi-family rental housing within Manhattan Beach. Lots are generally less than 3,000 square feet and parking is scarce for both residents and visitors.

Elementary school students living north of Manhattan Beach Boulevard in the Sand Section attend Grand View. Those living south of Manhattan Beach Boulevard attend Robinson. Click here for more information about Manhattan Beach schools.

El Porto

El Porto is located north of 38th Street between the ocean and the City of El Segundo. Formerly this area was an unincorporated portion of Los Angeles County. It is developed with a mix of commercial and multi-family properties and has the highest residential devlopment density within Manhattan Beach. Many of the 30-by-90 foot lots have two residential units. This area slopes steeply toward the beach. El Porto was annexed by Manhattan Beach in November 1980 and is now referred to as "North Manhattan Beach."

Downtown

The Downtown commercial area runs along Manhattan Beach Boulevard, west of Valley Drive and branches north and south along Highland Avenue and Manhattan Avenue for several blocks in each direction. Mixed in and around these local commercial properties are parcels zoned for high and medium denisty residential properties. Living downtown you can walk to just about anywhere you need to go.

The Strand

You can’t have a home in Manhattan Beach any closer to the ocean! A wide cement walkway, referred to as “The Strand,” runs the length of Manhattan Beach along the beachfront. It is popular with joggers and dog walkers, as well as tourists out for a stroll. A separate bike path runs parallel to The Strand. Listings for Strand homes often note their whitewater view, since they can see the breaking surf not just the distant ocean. There are few older beach cottages still left along The Strand. Most of the original bungalows on these desirable lots have been replaced by newer homes on a grander scale.

Gaslamp Neighborhood

The area between Blanche Road and Grandview Avenue, from 21st Street to 24th Street has been improved with gas street lights. The gas lamps give this neighborhood a quaint feel. The lots in this area are typically 30 by 90 feet.

West of Highland

Manhattan Beach property values are affected by nearness to the beach, even within the Sand Section. Highland Avenue, which runs north-south, has become a dividing line through the Sand Section. Property listings that indicate “west of Highland” typically have a higher land value than homes east of Highland Avenue. According to a "Manhattan Beach Confidential" blog post in February 2008, two thirds of survey respondents thought the difference should be $500,000 or greater for comparable homes.

Walk Streets

The Sand Section has many walk streets, where homes face a pedestrian street with alley access to a garage in the rear. Some lots have been spilt, leaving “landlocked” parcels with walk-street frontage, but no parking access off the alley. Walk streets tend to encourage a sense of community among neighbors. The South End walk streets are popular with families because the more level, sidewalk-style street has no traffic and can serve as a play area for children. North End walk streets, from 15th Street to 20th Street are sloped and have ocean views. 18th Street has been beautified to look like a winding path.

The original walk streets were constructed in 1913 west of Highland Avenue. In 1923-1924 additional walk streets were built east of Highland Avenue between Crest Drive and Valley Drive from 4th Street to 11th Street. There was a third phase of walk street construction in 1928 when new walk streets were built from 25th Street to 32nd Street between Highland Avenue and Alma Avenue. At that time some of the original walk streets were rebuilt. In 1969 a different type of walk street was built on 26th Street between Vista Drive and Grandview Avenue. It is narrower than the earlier walk streets and follows a serpentine path.

Just The Facts

Price Range

Click Here to see the sale prices for Sand Section homes that have sold in the last 8 weeks. Homes along The Strand are among the most expensive in Manhattan Beach. Within the Sand Section, homes in the North Manhattan Beach area tend to be less expensive.

Zoning

The Sand Section contains a variety of zoning designations. Click Here to see a Zoning Map for Manhattan Beach homes.

Most of the residential areas in the Sand Section are zoned Residential High Density (4 or more units) or Residential Medium Density (3 or fewer units). There are just 3 areas in the Sand Section zoned Residential Single Family:
  • Between Grandview Avenue and Vista Drive from 26th Street to 36th Street
  • The Gaslamp Neighborhood
  • East of Crest Drive and Morningside Drive from 10th Street south to the Hermosa Beach border
There are several commercial areas in the Sand Section. The downtown area is the largest. There are a few commercial lots at the corner of Marine Avenue and Highland Avenue. There is another commercial strip in North Manhattan Beach along Highland Avenue, from 33rd Street to Moonstone Street.

This area includes public space for Grand View Elementary School, Robinson Elementary School, the Civic Center, National Guard Armory, public works yard, and two public parking areas near the Strand.

The Sand Section contains open space for three parks, Sand Dune Park, Live Oak Park and Bruce’s Beach (formerly called Parque Culiacan). In addition, Veterans Parkway, the green beltway between Ardmore Avenue and Valley Drive forms a portion of the eastern boundary of the Sand Section.



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